Sparks

Dust to Dust

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dust to Dust By Brenda Bellinger This post happens to fall on what would have been my mother’s 86th birthday if she were still with us. She passed away thirteen years ago, yet I often feel her presence. Recently, I was dusting a small antique genie lamp that belonged to her mother, my grandmother. Made of white china, its glaze bears the spiderwebbing of many tiny cracks. Miraculously, the hurricane glass and original brown paper shade, though faded, are both still intact. As I carefully pushed a corner of the dust cloth through the curled handle, I thought of all the times this had been done before. Both my mother and grandmother were fastidious housekeepers. Myself? Not so much. I wonder at what point this lamp will cease to hold its significance. A time will come when…

Guest Bloggers

Innovative Technique for Creative Writing

Today’s guest blogger, Mary Mackey, is a gem in a treasure chest filled with innovative inspiration for writers. Mary shares her unique perspective on accessing creative writing. Your unconscious is packed with ideas, metaphors, visions, plots, dreams, colors, characters, emotions—in short, everything you need to write a great visionary novel. But how do you get to it? How do you step out of the social agreement we call “reality,” and dip into this incredibly rich resource? You could go to sleep and try to mine your dreams, but even if you dreamed an entire novel, the moment you woke up, you would forget most of it within seconds, because you hadn’t processed the ideas into your long-term memory. Worse yet, when you dream, you are not in control, so you can’t do specific things like talk to one of your characters or work out a specific plot problem. Granted, some…

Guest Bloggers

Help Your Creativity Blossom

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray shares why freewrites inspire writing: I have taught the creative writing process for more than twenty years, working in part with a technique known as “freewriting” where I encourage participants to “just let it rip”. We don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar or whether it is good. We suspend the censor and let our first thoughts spill out onto the page. People new to the class are always nervous about this kind of letting go. Since I write and share my own raw writing with the group, I was rather nervous when I first started teaching the classes but found that by maintaining a safe and sacred atmosphere of unconditional acceptance for whatever wanted to come forth it really calmed the fear for everyone. We learn quite early to fear making mistakes. We all have a well-developed censor that confines us within the limiting parameters of…

Prompts

What games did you play? Prompt #32

Today’s prompt is from To Have Not, a fascinating memoir by Frances Lefkowitz. When us kids used to walk down 16th Street to the schoolyard or across Sanchez to the corner store, we’d keep a lookout for cool cars. When one drove by – a red mustang convertible, a tiny MG, a black Jag with the silver cat ready to pounce off the hood – whoever saw it first would point and say, “That’s my car!” We could play this game anywhere, my brothers and their buddies and I, shouting the words loud and fast to drown out anyone else who might be thinking about claiming the same car.  You could even play it alone, whispering the three magic words while walking home from school or sitting in a window seat on the bus, leaning your drowsy head against the sun-warmed glass. Then the car would speed through traffic, carrying…

Prompts

Your best gift or your all-time favorite gift. — Prompt #28

You can use these prompts to write memoir, fiction, poetry, or to just write. It doesn’t matter what your genre is, you can use these prompts to develop the craft of writing.  You can respond to the prompt from your personal experience or as a fictional character would respond. Here we go: There are tacky gifts, insulting gifts, selfish gifts the giver secretly wants, cheap gifts and re-gifted gifts. But some gifts are transcendent. Have you ever received such a perfect gift? One that amazed you with its imagination? Perhaps it was a gift that completely touched your heart, changed your life, opened a new world? Maybe it was a gift so dear you held onto it for a lifetime.  What was it and why was it so special to you? Prompt:  Your best gift or your all-time favorite gift.

Prompts

Photo prompt — Prompt #27

With a photo prompt, write whatever comes up for you. Photo prompt by Colby Drake. One of the things that Colby enjoys about photography is the adventure of going out to scenic areas and trying to capture those places to share with others. He believes that there is no better feeling than sharing his experiences with others when they weren’t able to be there in person. Now living in northwest Oregon, Colby has the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful places in the world (at least in his opinion). He hopes that he is able to share these places and experiences with many people that are not able to enjoy them for themselves. Enjoy!

Quotes

Write until creative function takes over. — Amor Towles

“I almost never start with inspiration. If you start to write a scene or an idea, if you can stick at that for 20 minutes, eventually you can get lost in the process and the creative function takes over. The imagination suddenly kicks in. You almost have to dive in and start to work, and eventually, if you get in the groove, you can flourish. — Amor Towles, author of Rules of Civility, interview by Hillary Casavant, November 2013 issue of The Writer magazine.